Thursday, November 08, 2007


Release Date:2005-09-14
Label:12k (Happy)
Genre: Electronic
Style: Downtempo, Synth-pop


Something Is Lost (6:47)

Guitar - Yuichiro Iwashita
Early In Summer (5:55)

Violin - Gen Saito
Beside Me (5:16)

Guitar - Yuichiro Iwashita
Violin - Sayaka Kuwabara
Color Of Breeze (1:08)
Little Girl Poems (6:17)
Muse (2:29)
Mother's Love (5:12)
Moon And Cello (4:53)
Beginning (2:24)

Listening to Piana's exquisite 'Ephemeral' (the follow up to 2003's similarly stunning 'Snow Bird') I was struck by the parallels in terms of mood and outlook with the author Haruki Murakami; a drifting lightness of touch that is utterly captivating and apparently uncontrived which leads you to a dewy-eyed destination they had planned all along. I then read an interview with Naoko Sasaki (aka Piana) where she said much the same thing, making me look like a press-release plagiarist… well I oughta! So BEAUTIFUL it more than deserves caps lock, 'Ephemeral' is the kind of record that makes you look on the world in a different fashion; utterly beguiling and iridescent, albeit given a healthy dusting of pathos. Whilst Piana's last album was a genre-defying tract of glitch-pop that erred on the side of the former, 'Ephemeral' flips the tables and unashamedly embraces the latter, liberally dousing the soaring soundscapes with a grade-A vial of friable pop acumen. Opening with 'Something Is Lost', Sasaki eases the listener in through a blossom fall of rustling clicks and diffused melodies that frame the vocals to perfection. Similarlily, 'Early In Summer' takes you by the hand and reveals a swelling thicket of Puccini strings that soar with such grace you'll be left breathless, whilst lazy beats build a crystalline foundation for Sasaki's honey-dipped voice; resultant in a sound reminiscent of Mum's 'Green Grass of Tunnel'. Elsewhere, 'Little Girl Poems' ups the glitch for a composition that drips with grace and unconstrained radiance, 'Mother's Love' strips it back to the basics (guitar and piano) for a heart-wrenching nugget of aural gold, whilst the album closes with 'Beginning', a brief but eminently powerful burst of muted rectitude. If that all sounds like we're gushing; it's because we are, and on the off chance you're still undecided we'll reiterate; THIS RECORD IS AMAZING. Never mind the hyperbole, it's Piana.


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